The Mavs will take on the Los Angeles Lakers for the third time this year. Dallas has won both matchups this season and they’ve both been on the road, so if you include Dallas beating the Clippers 90-88 in LA, that makes the Staples Center their most successful arena of the year. The Mavericks now try to get some of that Southern California love at home.
The Lakers haven’t gotten any better since their last matchup and are actually just above the Mavericks in the Western Conference "wild card" standings at 16-31, making this game equally important for playoff standings and the draft at the same time.
(Are you making the SalahSlam face? I am.)
Here are some things to look out for:
The continuation of the Seth Curry Revolution
I could just link to the Seth Curry piece that went out yesterday but let’s take a second to appreciate what the latest Mavericks starter has done for an entrance (besides hitting a clutch three against the Jazz to send the game to over time). As a starter, Curry’s getting more minutes next to Deron Williams and it’s looking like a great pairing. Curry is currently sporting a filthy 70 percent true shooting percentage - a number his brother would be jealous of. Will that last? No. But the fact that Seth’s off to this good of a start is encouraging.
He’s also been active on defense, leading the Mavericks in steals and general pesky energy since becoming a starter. With Barea out for weeks, Curry’s chance to secure a starting role for the Mavericks for the rest of the year and beyond is here.
Wesley Matthews having a strong all-around game
Matthews’ shot is as streaky as a Maverick as there is but he’s had a strong defense to anchor him and the Mavericks will look for him to keep that up.
Against the Lakers this year, he’s picked up all their young, streaky and talented guards while providing long range, defense and also some surprise passing (9 dishes to 2 turnovers). His game on both ends of the court is reflected in an excellent +11.5 plus-minus against the Lakers (second to only young Curry) and serves as a key ingredient for the Mavs.
Lou Williams not going off
My favorite pick-and-roll artist in the NBA is going to get a ton of minutes and shots with D’Angelo Russell out. He’s capable of going off for 40 points and is going to challenge the two guys mentioned above all over the court.
Sweet Lou is en fuego over the last three games, averaging 25.7 points per game while making 3.7 treys per game on just 15 shots. He’s also doing it in just under thirty minutes a game and you can expect those last two numbers to both go up on Sunday.
How to watch
Tip off is at 2:30 p.m. Central on FSSW or on NBA League Pass.